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There’s nothing weird about the out-sized entrepreneurial spirit of showman P.T. Barnum although he certainly was a master promoter of some of the weirdest oddities to be found in 19th century America. A philanthropist and progressive politician later in life, he built his reputation upon the exploitation of unfortunate human specimens such as the dwarf Tom Thumb and outright hoaxes like the Fiji Mermaid. We will explore the crusades and gaffs that marked Barnum’s colorful career.